Is Leeds owner Andrea Radrizzani taking risk with response to Ian Harte's criticism?

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

Ian Harte hit out at Leeds United's youth policy as he felt that there were too many foreign players who are not good enough in the ranks.

Andrea Radrizzani, Owner of Leeds United looks on during the Sky Bet Championship match between Bristol City and Leeds United at Ashton Gate on October 21, 2017 in Bristol, England.

In comments reported by the Yorkshire Evening Post, Andrea Radrizzani has hit back at recent criticism that came Leeds' way from former defender Ian Harte regarding the club's youth policy.

The Yorkshire Evening Post reports that Harte - who spent nearly a decade on the Whites' books around the turn of the Millennium - slammed the club on social media after attending one of their under-23 side's games as he felt that the team was losing its identity due to the presence of several foreign players who Harte deemed to not be good enough.

Former Republic of Ireland and Leeds United football player Ian Harte watches on from ringside during the Frampton Reborn boxing bill at SSE Arena Belfast on November 11, 2017 in Belfast,...

And in response, Radrizzani insisted that the way that Harte decided to express his frustrations so publicly upset him and was not acceptable as far as he was concerned.

“We treat him with kindness and we expect that when he has something to say to help the club to improve, it’s better he comes here to my office and shares his ideas rather than do this publicly," he told the Yorkshire Evening Post.

A general view of Elland Road Stadium prior to the Sky Bet Championship match between Leeds United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Elland Road on October 17, 2015 in Leeds, England.

“It’s not the right way to help the club I think. It’s not acceptable in my opinion. He needs to decide what he wants to do.”

Since Radrizzani has arrived at Elland Road, he has made a great effort to try and make the club's legends feel like they remain an important part of the foundations, and it seems unlikely that this difference of opinion with Harte will lead to anything significant. 

But with Harte the agent of two of the brightest prospects currently coming through at Thorp Arch, Tyler Denton and Jack Clarke, it may still be a risk for Radrizzani to publicly criticise the retired defender for the way that he expressed his frustrations, especially as his problem with Harte came from using a public forum to vent his grievances. 

Clarke, in particular, looks like he could be destined for the top in the coming years, and Radrizzani will surely not want to damage the relationship he has with Harte in case it causes problems further down the line. 

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